“What is Silvthril?” I asked, scratching my head.
As a Dungeon Diver, something called the bane of all dungeons naturally caught my interest. Naturally, without knowing what Silvthril was, I couldn’t really grasp what Malacrum was either.
The old mage snorted, but thankfully, Siti was willing to explain. “Silvthril is a rare mineral. It is found very deep underground. As a result, it can only be forged properly by Deep Dwarves. It repulses miasma and creates a great deal of damage to anything composed of miasma. Someone who had a Silvthril dagger would be able to conquer dungeons with ease!”
Siti seemed extremely excited when she spoke about it. It was almost like she was talking about it from personal experience. As for me, I quickly understood why Silvthril would be so useful. It was essentially anti-curse metal.
“Okay, I’m not sure what you mean by Malacrum being the opposite though. I’ve heard of soul daggers, daggers that can damage a soul and kill the person, giving them no ability to reincarnate. Is it like that?”
“The soul daggers are actually copies of the soul-reaving dagger. They were discovered initially in dungeons where a soul-reaving dagger held memory.”
“It’s like this. Dungeons are curses based off a story. They are composed of the soul fragments and memories of things that ultimately existed, but if they can’t gather the proper sources to create an exact replica, they create a copy.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen that before.”
I was naturally talking about the unnamed giant boss in my dungeon, who was allegedly created based off Xin. Supposedly, that giant contained almost none of the original Xin’s soul, which is why it was a such an exaggerated form of the original woman. So, what she was saying was that powerful objects could also create copies of their original selves.
“So, soul daggers are mined from dungeons?”
“If they were easy to obtain, don’t you think everyone would use them?” Her eyes flashed.
It was a horrifying thought. The soul dagger could kill anyone permanently. It destroyed their soul, preventing them from being resurrected. There were only a handful of things in this world that were capable of killing a soul. Many soul attacks could wound or dislodge a soul, killing you and requiring a Resurrection, but for something to kill both the soul and the body, it was definitely something to be feared.
That left us with the soul-reaving dagger, the original to the template used for soul daggers. I was extremely wary about such an item.
“What is it capable of doing?” I asked cautiously.
“Malacrum can only be gathered from the deepest parts of great dungeons.” She explained. “In that respect, it’s almost unobtainable. As to how it is forged, no one even knows. However, there have been a handful of soul-reaving artifacts discovered throughout history. One such artifact was the basis for this dungeon. The hero who defeated it decided the dagger was too dangerous, so he left it in the dungeon’s treasure room, and left the dungeon to wither and collapse on it over the years, burying it under the earth. We’re here to recover it!”
“Why would you ever try to recover that dagger? Isn’t it better to just leave it where it is?” I asked.
“To destroy it?” The mage turned around, shooting me a glare.
“The Bandit Hero somehow found out about the dagger. That’s what she’s seeking out.”
Siti blushed. “Ah… I heard the Bandit Hero was a woman.”
I didn’t expect that, because the only Bandit Hero I knew was the guy from Calypso’s Tower. However, if this Bandit Hero wasn’t the same Bandit Hero, there was no reason it couldn’t be a girl. In fact, there was no reason they had to be a Bandit King at all. They could have any number of jobs. As long as they were powerful and earned the respect of all of the bandit underlings, they could be anyone.
“So… Meteor won’t be enough.” I sighed.
“Meteor? Isn’t that one of the highest-level Master Mage spells? Even I don’t have it yet.” The Mage blinked. “But, I did have similar thoughts of scorching this town. However, it wouldn’t touch the dagger. They would set up their camp and start digging as soon as we left. Although they call themselves the Bandit Hero, they are no hero. I don’t know if they are a man or a woman, but they are exceptionally vicious. If they have the dagger, it won’t be good for any of the five nations.”
“We have to find that dagger quickly.” Siti sighed.
“Unfortunately, my magical ability is suited for other tasks.” The mage growled. “I am a Black Mage, so although I know a little magic from every element, ultimately I became a Master Fire Magician. My Earth magic isn’t at a level that I’ve been able to locate it. Simply put, it’s too deep in the earth.
“Earth…” I only needed to think about it for a moment. “I might have exactly what you need.”
“Are you saying you can recover the dagger?”
“It’s possible, but we have to move fast. If they attack again, we have no one guarding the walls anymore.”
“Very well, if you can recover the dagger, Siti here will be able to destroy it.” The mage patted her shoulder, causing her to blush.
“I could try to melt the dagger, but the metal would still exist. We could throw it to the bottom of an ocean, but someone could fetch it. The most suitable person to handle this is a Blue Mage.”
“Why is that?”
“Void magic.” Siti explained. “Blue Mages are spatial mages. It is true that we can open up Portals and have inventories, but our true ability rests in the capacity to connect to the void.”
“The void exists between worlds. If I sent this dagger to it, it’d be instantly destroyed. There wouldn’t be a single fragment remaining.”
“It is the best way.” The old man nodded in agreement.
I had always seen the Blue Mages as crotchety old men who ran the Traveler’s Guild. Who would have thought that they were hiding such an incredible power? Rather than being pack mules, they could do something so deadly. Did I have to cross the void to come to this world? I wondered if a Blue Mage might be able to cross the void once they reached a certain level. If that was true, could I perhaps learn the Blue Mage job and one day return home?
Up until that moment, I had rarely considered the idea. It just seemed like something out of reach. Now, looking at Siti, I saw a way that might be able to bring me home. I realized I was staring at Siti, and she blushed once again. The mage frowned.
“Well, if you can get the dagger, there is no time to waste. If we can destroy it, then I will agree to come to your city and help you fend off the bandits.”
“It’s a deal.”
When I left the tent, the mage and Siti joined me. I quickly found the girls. They still were holding up a Portal as the last few people escaped through, joining up with the forces in Deeksville. My eyes immediately found Terra. Terra wasn’t a Master Earth Magician. She was something far more terrifying. She could manipulate the earth using her will. Honestly, I didn’t understand it completely, but the difference between her ability and mages was that she didn’t actually use mana.
Celeste was a mana being. Her entire body was made out of mana and a soul. This wasn’t to say she didn’t have a body. She could receive physical damage, but any damage she received hit her mana reserves, and she could insta-heal most problems. On the other hand, running completely out of mana was deadly for her. She was extremely powerful, being able to cast unbelievable wind spells, but the more she cast, the weaker her constitution became. This was never much of an issue because she was so fast with her wind attribute, no one could hit her even if they wanted to.
Terra, on the other hand, was a soul in a body. She had no mana to speak of. She used her body and soul and manipulated the elements without mana. How she was able to do this, I didn’t know. Then again, I had no clue how mana worked either. It was just a force in this world. Terra probably had more in common with Miki as a Spiritualist that used soul power than Celeste and Shao, … who heavily relied on mana. Naturally, Lydia depended on her body the most.
Part of the reason we all worked so well together wasn’t just because our jobs complimented each other, but our very natures did as well. Lydia was body and mana, Terra was body and soul, Celeste was mana and soul, Miki was soul and body, and Shao was mana and body. It was a very powerful combination.
“Terra, there is a small dagger buried under this city. Can you find it?” I asked blankly while making sure my jobs were all supportive roles.
Terra looked at me and then smirked self-assuredly. “With ease, Master!’
“Ah!” Siti looked excited.
“Hmph…” The mage crossed his arms, looking only minimally impressed.
“Can you find it quickly?” I asked.
“Actually, if Master needs it quickly, then I believe I can do this best with Celeste.” She waved, and the fairy flew over, growing to her large size.
“Are we going to show Master?” She asked excitedly.
“It’s an ability the pair of us have been practicing for a while now.” Terra explained.
Terra walked over to where a pike had previously been stuck in the ground. Celeste walked over to it as well. The pair of women both held it, and closed their eyes. After a minute or two, they lifted up the pike, and then slammed it on the ground. Since the ground was hard, it made a good thud.
“Are they wasting our time?” The mage asked, a look of distaste on his face.
“As a singer, Celeste has a sensitivity toward vibrations. She said she could almost see by using vibrations. I noticed that vibrations also travel through the ground. Together, we’ve been working on a technique. We send vibrations through the ground, and then use them to detect things.” Terra explained. “I can already use it to map out underground locations, but I can’t see specifically what things are. I can see a dozen things underground, but if I use Celeste’s sensitivity and…”
“The metal is ringing from over here.” Celeste turned small again and then floated over to a spot not too far away from us.
“This is the one?” Terra asked.”
Celeste closed her eyes one more time. “It’s a dagger, made of metal. That’s all I can say.”
Terra lifted her hand and then slapped her palm on the ground. There was a small rumbling sound, and then a knife popped out of the ground, popping up into the air. She caught it in her hand and then turned to me, presenting it smugly.
“Is this what Master wanted?”
Yup, my girls were a powerful combination.